Comics Lowdown: RIP Monkey Punch, Kazuo Koike

Plus: Bill Mantlo in need, halfway through ‘Saga,’ awards and more.

The manga community has lost two legends in April, as both Lupin III creator Monkey Punch and Lone Wolf & Cub co-creator Kazuo Koike have passed away. Both men died from pneumonia six days apart, and were once considered rivals when their respective manga ran in Weekly Manga Action magazine. They also worked together on the Secretary Bird manga mini-series that ran in the magazine in 1970.

Monkey Punch, whose real name was Kazuhito Kato, was 81 when he passed away. His most famous creation, Lupin III, started as a manga and was later adapted into six animated television series, eight animated feature films, two live-action feature films, two musicals and several video games. He passed away April 11.

In addition to Lone Wolf & Cub, Koike is also known for such titles as Lady Snowblood, Crying Freeman, Samurai Executioner and many other popular series. His work influenced many American creators, including Frank Miller, who drew covers for First Comics’ publication of the series. Koike also worked on a few western series, including a Hulk manga and an issue of X-Men Unlimited. He passed away April 17 at the age of 82.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: RIP Monkey Punch, Kazuo Koike”

‘Monstress,’ ‘Saga,’ ‘On a Sunbeam’ among the 2019 Hugo Awards finalists

‘Abbott,’ Paper Girls’ and ‘Black Panther: Long Live the King’ round out this year’s nominations in the the ‘Best Graphic Story’ category.

The nominees for the 2019 Hugo Awards have been announced, including the “Best Graphic Story” category. This year’s nominees include three comics from Image, one from Marvel, one from BOOM! Studios and a graphic novel from First Second.

Presented annually since 1955, The Hugo Awards recognize the best science fiction in books, comics, movies, TV and more. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention every year. The Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story has been awarded since 2009, with previous winners including volumes of Saga, Ms. Marvel, Girl Genius and Sandman: Overture. Monstress won the award for the last two years and is up for the award again this year.

This year’s nominees are:

Continue reading “‘Monstress,’ ‘Saga,’ ‘On a Sunbeam’ among the 2019 Hugo Awards finalists”

Comics Lowdown: Abrams pulls ‘A Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library’ from its schedule

Plus: “Olivia Jaimes” speaks, Bill Maher doubles down on his comic book comments, a comic convention apologies for giving ‘Saga’ to kids, and much more!

Abrams has abandoned plans to publish A Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library by Jack Gantos and Dave McKean following online criticism and controversy. The book is about a young boy who plans to blow up a library, but he changes his mind when he sees how captivated the people inside are with their reading.

An open letter to Abrams from the Asian Author Alliance, signed by more than 1,000 writers, teachers and readers, reads: “The simple fact is that today, the biggest terrorist threat in the United States is white supremacy. In publishing A Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library, Abrams is willfully fear-mongering and spreading harmful stereotypes in a failed attempt to show the power of story.”

McKean responded to some of the controversy on Twitter: “The premise of the book is that a boy uses his mind and faith to decide for himself that violence is not the right course or action.” The book was due to be published next May.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Abrams pulls ‘A Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library’ from its schedule”

Joelle Jones, Tom King, Lee Weeks and more win 2018 Ringo Awards

Marc Andreyko receives the Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year Award, while Denny O’Neil receives the Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 2018 Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards were presented this weekend at the Baltimore Comic-Con, celebrating the “creativity, skill and fun of comics.” The awards program is named for artist Mike Wieringo, who passed away in 2007.

This is the second year the awards were presented, and they include both “fan favorites,” which were selected by open voting, and “jury and fan winners,” selected by a combination of open nominations and jury voting. You can see the breakdown of how the winners were selected on the Ringo Awards website.

Congratulations to all the winners:

Continue reading “Joelle Jones, Tom King, Lee Weeks and more win 2018 Ringo Awards”

Fiona Staples nominated for a World Fantasy Award

The ‘Saga’ artist adds another award nomination to her long list, just as she and Brian K. Vaughan announce the book will go on hiatus for a year.

Saga artist Fiona Staples has been nominated for a World Fantasy Award, in the “Artist” category. Although other nominees have created comics or comic covers in the past, she’s the only nominee in the category who is known primarily for her comics work.

The winners will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention in November.

Continue reading “Fiona Staples nominated for a World Fantasy Award”

Celebrating local comic creators is the best thing to do today

From Eisner winning heavyweight Fiona Staples to industry newbie H.C. Gislason, Panel One’s Comic Creator Festival spotlights local talent.

In the age of Hollywood-driven mega-cons, the Panel One Comic Creator Festival promises to bring the spotlight of comic conventions back to (gasp!) comics! Now in its third year, the Festival, which is held in Calgary, seems small and humble, but truly packs a punch for local creators, that feel lost and forgotten at the big shows. In its short life, the Panel One Comic Creator Festival has been renowned as “THE” place for creators to sell comics, some noting they have larger sales at this tiny festival as opposed to the 100,000 people attended monolith cons. This isn’t Artist Alley, so you won’t find fanart here, but this is the perfect market for the curious and the diehard comic fan to discover and buy new comic books.

Continue reading “Celebrating local comic creators is the best thing to do today”

‘Monstress,’ ‘Black Bolt’ among this year’s Hugo nominees

‘Bitch Planet,” ‘Paper Girls,’ ‘My Favorite Thing is Monsters’ and ‘Saga’ round out this year’s nominees in the ‘Graphic Story’ category.

The nominees for the 2018 Hugo Awards have been announced, including the “Graphic Story” category — which features four comics from Image, one from Marvel and a graphic novel from Fantagraphics.

Presented annually since 1955, The Hugo Awards recognize the best science fiction in books, comics, movies, TV and more. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention every year. The Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story has been awarded since 2009, with previous winners including volumes of Saga, Ms. Marvel, Girl Genius and Sandman: Overture. Monstress won the award last year and is up for the award again this year.

Here are this year’s nominees:

Continue reading “‘Monstress,’ ‘Black Bolt’ among this year’s Hugo nominees”

Nominees announced for the British Fantasy Awards

‘2000AD,’ ‘Saga’ and the webcomic ‘Skal’ included on the shortlist of nominees in the comics category.

The British Fantasy Society has announced the nominees for the British Fantasy Awards, including the “Best Comic/Graphic Novel” category.

The nominees were decided by members of the society, with additional nominees added by the award’s jury to ensure “egregious omissions” made the list. Winners will be decided by jury and announced at FantasyCon 2017, which runs Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

Continue reading “Nominees announced for the British Fantasy Awards”

Comics Lowdown: Original Crumb art sells for $717,000

Plus news and updates on NBM, ‘Saga,” Dan Parent and more.

Robert Crumb’s original art for the cover of the 1969 Fritz the Cat collection has set a new record price for a piece of original American comics art: The drawing sold for $717,000 at an auction run by Heritage Auctions; the next highest price for a piece of American comics art is the $657,250 that someone paid for the last page of Incredible Hulk #180, which features the first appearance of Wolverine. Internationally, Tintin art is still top of the heap; one set of drawings brought in $3.5 million, and two other original Tintin drawings have sold for over $1 million apiece.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Original Crumb art sells for $717,000”